Wednesday, July 26, 2017

America: Susana and Mehri

Susana is pretty nearly done. I think the hands need to be more refined, as well as the medical instrument... but otherwise, I can't see much left to do on the face or clothing.

Susana, © 2017, (America series) work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Mehri, © 2017, (America series) work in progress (click on image for larger view)

In contrast, there's much to do here. There's a very fine pattern on the scarf that I'm not sure I know how to deal with; I sanded off the thick paint buildup on the face and have started over, but I need to get the tonality right first of all.

I'm picking up on Daniel again, right now.



Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Chair: The Table

Finally picked up most of the large paintings from the show today at the gallery; the process of getting them safely arranged in the car took the entire morning, and I had two other errands to run on the side. But this afternoon I got back to work. After getting bored with establishing the wicker pattern I decided to start filling in the underpainting on the table in the foreground.

The Chair, © 2017, work in progress (click on image for larger view)



Monday, July 24, 2017

A Little Further Along

I did manage to get in a visit to the gym and then two more paintings today.

Daniel, © 2017, (America series) work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Atlantic Ocean Series #11, Dawn Phase, © 2017, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Incremental Progress

Sometimes it's hard to get back to painting after a weekend off, and that's the case today. I struggled with the pattern on the wicker chair below, and finally had to wipe off some of what I'd done.

The Chair, © 2017, work in progress (click on image for larger view)


And I'm just not motivated to work on ANYTHING today. Though I did add some of the patterns on the shirt below, and tighten up the painting on the pants and beer bottle.

Veronica, © 2017, (America series) work in progress (click on image for larger view)

I'll take a look at the works in progress and see if I can develop an interest in working on something else.




Friday, July 21, 2017

Le D

There's still so much left to do on this, but it's going in the right direction. 

Saturday Night At Le Diplomate, © 2017, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Contra Costa Marshland #3, Finished

Whew! Finished this one a little while ago. Now I have three in the series— I'm going to upload all of them here so you can see them together.

Contra Costa Marshland, #3, © 2017 (click on image for larger view)

Contra Costa Marshland, #1, © 2017 (click on image for larger view)


 Contra Costa Marshland, #2, © 2017 (click on image for larger view)

Now, for the fourth and last one, the trick is to find something compatible with this set among the images I took (from Amtrak, by the way) on different journeys. There are a couple that feature those bald mountains so indigenous to northern California, and one or two more with a lot of seductive blues, but not many that have a similar color palette to what's already in the series.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Americans, and Chair Patterns

Two from the America series: Mehri and Veronica. I panted Mehri's upper lip too high, too close to her nose, so I have to fix that; Veronica's shirt is giving me trouble— for some reason I can't get the modeling right. Adding white to the mostly Winsor Blue seems to make it go more green. I've tried various mixes and might have to stay with what I've got now, then add the pattern once the base color dries.
Mehri, © 2017, (America series) work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Veronica, © 2017, (America series) work in progress (click on image for larger view)

The woven wicker pattern on The Chair is proving to be just as challenging as I'd thought it would be:
The Chair, © 2017, work in progress (click on image for larger view)



Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Another Storm On The Horizon

The rumble of thunder is getting closer, and the cat has gone down to his hiding place in the basement. I'll upload the two images I worked on this afternoon before the power goes out again; hopefully, I'll be able to do more painting despite the storm. And it might just slide off to the north anyway.

The Chair, © 2017, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

It's going to be so much fun to paint in the weavings on the back of the chair, though it'll take a long time.

Contra Costa Marshland, #3, © 2017, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

There's not too much left here: some detail on the lower mountains, resolving the area where the blue water meets the slope on the right side, and some details here and there amongst the plants. Oh, and some pink-violet at the base of those faraway trees. It will be nice to have the first three in the series done.


The Frustration of Entering Shows

I really shouldn't complain; entering an art show online is far easier than the old way of having to take slide images or print images of your artwork and then sending it off via the post office. Still, I've managed to spend the last two hours this morning (when I could have been painting!) applying to just two shows, and one of them still needs more information from me, since it lost the carefully thought out statement I'd carefully crafted when it sent me off to attach the image file. So. No painting yet today, but I'm attaching here the latest work I did (last night) on Evening Star, most of it in those shadowy foreground colors.

Evening Star Café, © 2017, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Monday, July 17, 2017

Keeping At It

The background on this painting is taking a long time, because it needs multiple soft blending layers to simulate the way the light falls on the wall. It looks a lot less streaky in reality, but I thought it would be interesting to show the original photo and the panel I'm working on, side by side.

Equilibrium, work in progress, © 2017(click on image for larger view)

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Lights Out

So, just three minutes after my last posting, the power went out. Since it seemed like it wasn't coming back on right away, we decided to make lemonade out of lemons and go off on an adventure. That include having a quick, small (but delicious) dinner at a nearby place we'd never visited before and a trip to the local bookstore.

After the power came back, I worked on the skin tones on Cole, but am really unsure whether I actualy made any improvements since the last time, or whether I should have left well enough alone:

Cole, © 2017, (America series) work in progress (click on image for larger view)

For sure, the eyes need to be worked on.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Before The Lights Go Out

Wanted to upload these two before the severe storm that's headed this way hits.

Caitlyn, © 2017, (America series) work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Equilibrium, work in progress, © 2017(click on image for larger view)

Color Consistency

The Atlantic Ocean series has— so far, anyway— three different color treatments. There are four paintings in each "phase;" Dark Blue, Turquoise, and Dawn. The set that I'm working on now is the third phase, the dawn colors. There's a lot of pink, pale blue, and pale yellow in the set than in the other color phases, and there's also some deep, greyed blue-green. I'm using something like half a dozen blues, two yellows, and two radiant pinks. Plus a bit of Payne's Gray. I've got the second painting in the Dawn phase set up nearby so I can check to make sure the paintings are consistent in their color treatments.

Atlantic Ocean Series #11, Dawn Phase, © 2017, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

I'm not sure what the final set of four will look like, as far as the color palette goes. Maybe greyish?

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Today's Work

Did not get a lot accomplished today, but made some progress on The Chair:

The Chair, © 2017, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

So far, so good.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Fun With Color

What I like about this image is the way one color blends into another. The trim on left side of the building picks up some reddish light from somewhere— probably the traffic light on the corner— and then as your eye travels along to the right, the white trim changes to a muted yellow-green. Similarly subtle changes occur in the interior, too. When I get to the next layer, the transition will be smoother.

Evening Star Café, © 2017, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

I painted some of the lime green detail on the jacket last night. Next I have to work on the face.

Cole, © 2017, (America series) work in progress (click on image for larger view)

The Chair Begins To Take Shape

This one is going to be a lot of fun to work on.

The Chair, © 2017, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Late yesterday I decided to keep up the momentum on the third in the Contra Costa series:

Contra Costa Marshland, #3, © 2017, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

I like this one a lot. Now if I can just keep from messing it up. :-)


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Feeling Virtuous

I've finished TWO landscapes!

Bluemont Vineyard, Virginia Vineyards Series,  © 2017 (click on image for enlarged view)

Contra Costa Marshland, #2, © 2017, (click on image for larger view)

And I've gotten a little further along on Caitlyn's paisley dress:

Caitlyn, © 2017, (America series) work in progress (click on image for larger view)


Monday, July 10, 2017

Getting A Jump On The Week

This week is shaping up to be pretty busy, so I'm trying to get as much done as possible.

The background on this one finally looks the way I want it to. I worked on it yesterday morning and put it away to dry in a place where I thought there would be less cat hair floating around in the air. This morning I looked it over and it appears to be quite clean, and dry enough for me to peel off the mask. There are a few places where I'll sand the ridges formed by layers of paint meeting the edges of the plastic mask, but in a day or two I'll be able to start on the figures!

The Chair, © 2017, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

This morning I made just a few changes to Le Diplomate.  I darkened the area just to the left of the walking woman's face; it had been white (you can see it on an earlier version) which made it difficult to see the edges of her face. This way, she stands out. I modified a few other places as well but now have to let it dry.

Saturday Night At Le Diplomate, © 2017, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Currently working on this one. I'm trying to make the blades of grass less blunt-looking, so I'm having to paint them in a slower, more deliberate manner. But it's tedious!

Contra Costa Marshland, #2, © 2017, work in progress (click on image for larger view)



Saturday, July 8, 2017

A Saturday Afternoon Landscape

Got a bunch of loose ends tied up today, and then had a chance to work on this little painting. Finally it feels like the sky is right. I still have to work on the foreground, but this one is nearly finished.

Contra Costa Marshland, #2, © 2017, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

A Layer of Shadow

For weeks now I've been bothered by the fact that the brightly lit yellow background behind the bottle shelves didn't have the luminosity visible in the reference photo. I darkened some of the wall color, but it didn't make much of a difference. I even went back to the restaurant and took some more photos, hoping they'd help (they didn't); finally this morning I floated a layer of Holbein's Transparent Black over the areas I wanted to go darker, and that seems to have had the desired result.

Le Diplomate, © 2017, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Now if I can just develop some volume on that grain bag. It looks too two-dimensional.

Friday, July 7, 2017

The Evening Star

I can't keep away from this one for very long. When I look at the reference photo on my laptop screen from across the room, the colors are just magnetic, and I can't wait to translate them to the panel. Painted the rest of the red letters in on the sign last night. When I put in the shadows they cast, it'll really come to life.

Evening Star Café, © 2017, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

I was badly in need of customers to paint in the restaurant windows, since the photos I took recently were after 9 pm, and the crowd had pretty well cleared out by then. But luckily I have some other pics from a visit in January of 2015, and there are plenty of folks in those.

Right now the painting is a sloppy mess, but soon I'll be able to refine some areas. There's a lot of layering to do first— some orangey washes over muted greens on the "white" trim areas, for example.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Bluemont

I figured it was time to get back to this painting. This is Bluemont Vineyard, miles and miles west of Washington DC, across the Shenandoah; what's most amazing about it is that on a clear day you can see the Washington Monument off in the distance on the edge of the skyline! No kidding!

Bluemont Vineyard, Virginia Vineyards Series, work in progress, © 2017 (click on image for enlarged view)

Oh, and I patched those fingerprints on The Chair. One more layer of warm golden color and I'll be able to peel off the frisket and start on the figures. All in all, a good day's work.

Figure Finished: Dion

These little 8" figure paintings are fun to work on, and I've just put the finishing touches on Dion. My plan is to finish all of the figures, then mix up a lot of paint in a neutral color and do the backgrounds all at the same time. That way they'll have a consistent look when they're hung together.

Dion, © 2017, (America series) work in progress (click on image for larger view)

I also painted the sweater color on this one:

Mehri, © 2017, (America series) work in progress (click on image for larger view)

The face needs a lot of work. It doesn't resemble her.

And last night I stroked in some more of the dawn pinks on this little ocean painting:

Atlantic Ocean Series #11, Dawn Phase, © 2017, work in progress (click on image for larger view)


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Trying To Be Patient

Both this one and The Chair are driving me crazy; I want the backgrounds to be finished so I can get to the fun parts.

Equilibrium, work in progress, © 2017(click on image for larger view)

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Three Americans

Since it's the Fourth of July, I thought I'd work on the America series.

Susana, © 2017, (America series) work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Mehri, © 2017, (America series) work in progress (click on image for larger view)

George, © 2017, (America series) work in progress (click on image for larger view)



Monday, July 3, 2017

Contra Costa

I'm trying to move this one along. The first one in this series is done and the third one is nearly finished; I'd like to do a fourth to even out the series. The sky and the foreground need work.


Contra Costa Marshland, #2, © 2017, work in progress (click on image for larger view)


Bad Pants

It's so rare that I actually finish something that I feel like celebrating for days. But there's more work to do, and I did make a little progress on a couple of other things last night and today.

First, I have a problem with painting believable folds on clothing. It's always hard for me to get them right, but I really struggled with the khaki pants on the woman in the pink and grey jacket— hard enough to mix that elusive color (Yellow Ochre with white and one of the blacks, or maybe that was Payne's Gray, and I'm still not happy with it) but getting those many tiny folds right is a challenge. I'll have to do the pants over again. At least the jacket looks alright.

Stockton Street, © 2017, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Yesterday I added another layer to this one, and warmed it up a bit with some Indian Yellow along with the Yellow Ochre and Raw Sienna; I like the sort of south-of-the-border look but those dang fingerprints are still visible. I'll have to paint them in with a more opaque version of color before I do another transparent layer. Can't wait to peel off the mask and start working on the figures.

The Chair, © 2017, work in progress

And I painted the windows on this one; curiously, the window on the right is smaller than the one on the left, and the panes themselves are more horizontally than vertically rectangular. I guess that's the way it was sometimes with old buildings.

Evening Star Café, © 2017, work in progress




Sunday, July 2, 2017

Finito! (I think)

Finally, I can add Narmada Winery to the list of finished work. Unless I decide to tinker with the shrubs on the far right. Or add another small cloud in that open space on the left.

Narmada Winery, Virginia Vineyards Series, © 2017